Sunday, September 29, 2013

Should Students Be Surveyed? Robert Marzano says, "Yes."

 In the October 2013 edition of Educational Leadership (EL), Dr. Robert Marzano (a well-known education researcher) writes about the Art and Science of Teaching: "How to Show Student Learning."

According to Marzano, "Most teachers agree that measures of student learning should be included in teacher evaluation models, but they want these measures to be useful and fair."

Just how can student learning be shown? Marzano's two recommendations are:
  1. Use common assessments to created common growth measures
  2. Use common student surveys to create common growth measures
Dr. Marzano notes that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation published a large-scale study which "concluded that student surveys should be a significant part of an array of assessments used to judge teacher quality." It is suggested that the following statements should be used in the surveying of students:
  • "I've learned a great deal in class."
  • "I've accomplished more than I thought I would in this class."
  • "My teacher pushes us to work hard and think deeply."
  • "In this class, the teacher expects nothing but our best."
Some interesting points are made by Marzano about using common assessments and using surveys. Leaders in the field of education support the surveying of students, so why isn't it happening?  Boards of Education should exhibit leadership and direct superintendents to conduct annual surveys of students and use the results to improve teacher quality and student learning. 

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